Book Review: Creating Glass Beads

Creating Glass  Beads
Creating Glass Beads

Creating Glass Beads: A New Workshop to Expand Your Beginner Skills and Develop Your Artistic Voice by Jeri L. Warhaftig

This is a book that I received for free from Lark Books. Thanks, Lark! The main subject matter is completely out of my realm, though I did start my creative life making leaded glass panels, so I settled in to expand my horizons.

The author describes the books as a “workshop in intermediate glass bead making.” I applaud Lark for not publishing another beginner book. I like the various appendices in the back, especially Appendix D, which gives a little bit about the project testers.

There are many photographs in the book. Each of the pages has two photos at a minimum. Most of them have many more. My favorites were the pages showing many beads. There were a couple of pages of beads with what looked like eyes on the beads, which were interesting. I was less enamored with the beads that depicted faces, though there were elements of those beads that I really liked. The technical skill is obvious in the photos.

The second section of the book talks about the basics. Unlike quiltmaking, I needed to read this section since, as I said, I know nothing about this art. The tools are all metal and a lot of them have names that meant nothing to me until I read the description. This section also includes detailed information about safety, not just the “be careful, this work is dangerous” type of warnings several columns of information about clothing and eye protection, ventilation and how to set up your studio for optimum safety.

Jeri Warhaftig has a friendly writing style that includes tips and tricks in the writing as well as little stories. The large amount of text is not only broken up on the page by the many images, but also by tips boxes called workshop wisdom. The author provides vocabulary, additional information and practice pointers.

Each session starts with an overview of what the session will teach, they types of glass and materials the artist will need as well as list of tools. Ms. Warhaftig includes some notes on tools and materials, then jumps into a detailed description, which is fully illustrated, of how to master the techniques of the session. The last part of each session begins with a description of the experience of the project testers as well as photos of their work and a gallery of other projects.

As with all project books, this one sets out to teach specific skills. Cane work, ruffles, eyes, and glass portal, are, among others, covered. For those who are moderately interested, the book is full of lots of eye candy. I particularly liked a bead called Modern Artifact by Bernadette Fuentes (pg.71) which is described as soft glass, blown, layered, cane work.

View all my reviews